From the entrance of Ryde Pier, go West and walk along Esplanade, then turn into St Thomas’ Street. Take the first right onto Buckingham Road and walk uphill until you reach a junction. From here, you’ll want to turn right onto Spencer Road. After about half a mile, the road will turn into a gravel path with white gates at the end of it. Go through the gates and follow public footpath R48 to Binstead and Quarr.
Once you’ve passed Binstead Church, follow the footpath for another 55 metres until you see a turning for Church Road on your right. Take it, and turn right again after another 50 metres onto a driveway – ignore the other public footpath you can see, and instead take the path just left of the house gates. Walk through the woodland until you arrive at Quarr Road.
Next, turn right and follow the lane, which will lead you to a gate. Go through it and keep walking until you reach a road junction – you’ll pass the original and new Quarr Abbeys before you arrive at the junction. From there, turn left and stroll past the car ferry terminal; when you see a telephone box, turn right and follow public footpath R1.
Once you reach the barrier, take a left onto Ashlake Copse Road. Don’t follow the road around when it starts to bend left, instead go straight and follow the gravel path which heads into the woodland. Keep going until you reach the main road (A3054) just up the hill.
Next, take a right and head down the hill to Wootton Bridge. Head over the bridge (you’ll need to cross the road to do so), then cross the road again to reach The Sloop Inn. If you want to stop for a bite to eat, now’s a good time – the carvery here is very reasonably priced.
After lunch, follow the gravel path, which eventually leads into an alley. Head through this then turn right onto New Road. Continue down the road for around 100 metres, then turn left at Wootton Youth Club. Follow the road until its end, then head down the alley, which leads onto St Edmunds Walk. Turn left and continue walking until you pass Whitehead Crescent on your right, after which you need to take a left down the alley. Keep going until you pass through another alley and eventually arrive at Church Road.
Cross over the road, heading into Footways. At the end of the road, turn left onto Palmers Road, then take the first right onto Brocks Copse Road. Keep following the road down – you should pass over a bridge which takes you over Palmers Brook. Don’t stop walking until you reach the main road; you’ll need to turn right to follow the main road (Whippingham Road), which will take you into East Cowes.
This road will eventually turn into York Avenue, but keep going until you reach the town centre. If you don’t want to explore it, take the left after the town hall onto Ferry Road. You’ll soon reach the floating bridge, which will take you to Cowes.